When first researching study abroad opportunities in America, many people are understandably confused when faced with the different admissions system in this country. Besides a world-renowned reputation, there are many other aspects concerning the higher education system that one needs to know.
- The US does not have a centralized enrollment process
This means you are entitled to enroll in any university in the United States and apply to as many as you want. This has both advantages and disadvantages. Since you have the freedom to choose and apply to many different universities, there is more flexibility in considering which school is the most suitable for you. However, at the same time, you are expected to have a higher sense of self-awareness and pay extra effort to apply to different universities. If you are looking for a destination with a variety of learning opportunities, then the United States is a great choice.
- Many universities accept early enrollment
Applying early decision is a fairly new concept for international students outside the United States. Essentially, if you like a university very much and it is at the top of your list, you have the chance to apply early to that school and get the results earlier. Usually, this also means that early applicants have a higher chance of getting admitted than regular applicants.
Generally, this should help you reduce stress as an early applicant while other candidates wait for the regular results to come out in the spring semester. However, there are a few limitations that you should know. If you enroll early, you can only apply to one university, and are required to enroll immediately if accepted by the school.
- American universities focus on “well-roundedness” in the profile
Unlike in universities in other parts of the world, the undergraduate admission process at American universities is quite difficult. Students need more than good transcripts to be admitted to prestigious schools.
The admissions committees at US university believe that in addition to good academic records, students also need to participate in extracurricular activities. Even if you plan on majoring in chemistry, there is still value in you taking courses in history and sociology. Some requirements besides transcripts include: SAT or ACT scores, TOEFL or IELTS scores, recommendation letters, and even essays. The essay is where you show aspects of yourself that goes beyond academics, it is your opportunity to stand out during the admissions process.
This makes it more difficult to apply for admission to American universities, but also easier in some aspects. If you are not so outstanding in your studies but are able to demonstrate your passion and leadership through extracurricular activities, the opportunity to study at a prestigious university is still wide open.
Although there are many differences between the undergraduate system between the US and Vietnam, you should not be discouraged to apply to study in America. At ETEST Academy, we aim to bring the most sustainable and effective pathways towards American education for our students.
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